President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that effective 2019 Nigeria’s Democracy Day, would  be marked on June 12 to honour Moshood Abiola, the winner of the 1993 presidential election.

Election data showed Mr Abiola was winning the poll until a shocked annulment by the military government of Ibrahim Babangida.

Abiola was later imprisoned by the Sani Abacha’s military regime as he struggled to actualise his mandate. He died in prison in 1998.

Here is a copy of the official statement by President Buhari:

Meanwhile, a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Alfa Belgore has declared the national honour given to Abiola as illegal.

“It is not done,” Belgore told Premium Times in an interview,  “It is for people living.”

“The only thing they could do is to name a place after him, but national honours award, no,” he added.

Belgore said under the 1964 National Honours Act, only soldiers or other servicemen could be awarded posthumous medals for their bravery.